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Blackpool so far

Posted on May 28, 2014

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000-web-sat.24.5.14.-350It’s been a good year for England so far at Blackpool Dance Festival with Michael Foskett and Nika Vlasenko, dancing for England, taking the Under 21 Ballroom yesterday. They follow in the footsteps of fellow Under 21 dancers, Richard Lifshitz and Korina Travis (pictured heading the line-up, left), who also dance for England and triumphed in the Under 21 Latin event, pipping to the post runners-up AJ Pritchard and Chloe Hewitt, who, again, dance for England.

In the Rising Star competitions, Mirco Risi and Maria Ermatchkova, who now represent England, won the Professional Rising Star Latin, and the Amateur Rising Star Latin finalists included three English couples, with the first place going to Petar Daskalov and Zia James, again from England.

In the Professional Rising Star Ballroom, Polish couple Wiktor Kiszka and Maria Mitrokhina won all the dances, except quickstep, in which they were second. The Amateur Rising Star Ballroom was won by Jianan Peng and Jia Ci Zhong, from China, though each of the first four couples won one dance, with England’s Stephen Arnold and Yasmin Priestnall, in fourth place, winning the foxtrot.000-web-sat.24.5.14.-293

Great Britain (pictured) also did well in the Team Match, coming in second to the Americas team. Michael Malitowski, a key member of the British team, happened to be judging the Polish version of Dancing with the Stars on Friday night, and so was flown from Poland to Blackpool by private jet by Supadance, his sponsors, to ensure he could get to Blackpool on time.

The winning Americas team, dressed in pink, was led by Méryem Pearson and included Arunas Bizokas and Katusha Demidova and Marat Gimaev and Alina Basyuk dancing ballroom, and Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko and Maurizio Vescovo and Andra Vaidilaite dancing Latin.

The first of the Big Four championships – the Amateur Latin – was held yesterday with returning champions Troels Bager and Ina Ivanova Jeliazkova, from Denmark, being placed first in all the dances.

The Senior Latin also saw returning champions with last year’s winners Rolf-Andreas Laubert and Jeanette Seydich, from Germany, defending their title successfully. The Senior Ballroom was won by David and Liva Wright, from the US.

For full results and reports from Blackpool, look out for the July and August issues of Dance Today.

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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